A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Inveraray (Gael. Inbhir-Aoraidh, of unknown etymology), a town and a parish in Argyll district, Argyllshire. A royal, parliamentary, and police burgh, the capital of the county, and a seaport, the town stands on the S side of a small bay, at the Aray's influx to Loch Fyne, 6¼ miles SW of the head of that sea-loch, 24½ NNE of Lochgilphead, 56¾ N by W of Rothesay (viâ Kyles of Bute), 9½ S of Cladich on Loch Awe, 42 SE of Oban, 16 SSW of Dalmally station, 24 W by N of Tarbet, 11½ NW of Lochgoilhead, 45 NNW of Greenock (viâ Loch Eck), and 67½ NW of Glasgow. It communicates daily by steamboat with Glasgow, and daily during the summer by coach with Tarbet, Dalmally, Loch Eck, and Lochgoilhead. 'The approach,' writes the Queen, ` is splendid; the loch is very wide; straight before you a fine range of mountains splendidly lit up,-green, pink, and lilac; to the left the little town of Inveraray; and above it, surrounded by pine woods, stands the castle of Inveraray, square, with turrets at the corner. 'Robert Buchanan styles Inveraray' that most depressing of fish-smelling Highland towns; 'but his brother-poet, Alexander Smith, described it as a rather pretty place, with excellent inns, several churches, a fine bay, a ducal residence, a striking conical hill-Duniquaich the barbarous name of it-wooded to the chin, and an ancient watch-tower perched on its bald crown. The chief seat of the Argylls cannot boast of much architectural beauty, being a square building with pepperbox-looking turrets stuck on the corners. The grounds are charming, containing fine timber, winding walks, stately avenues, gardens, and, through all, spanned by several bridges, the Aray bubbles sweetly to the sea. No tourist should leave Inveraray before he ascends Duniquaich-no very difficult task either, for a path winds round and round it. When you emerge from the woods beside the watchtower on the summit, Inveraray, far beneath, has dwindled to a toy town-not a sound is in the streets; unheard the steamer roaring at the wharf, and urging dilatory passengers to haste by the clashes of an angry bell. Along the shore nets stretched from pole to pole wave in the drying wind. The great boatless blue loch stretches away flat as a ball-room floor; and the eye wearies in its flight over endless miles of moor and mountain. Turn your back on the town, and gaze towards the north. It is still "a far cry to Loch Awe," and a wilderness of mountain peaks tower up between you and that noblest of Scottish lakes-of all colours too-green with pasture, brown with moorland, touched with the coming purple of the heather, black with a thunder-cloud of pines. What a region to watch the sun go down upon!' Summer in Skye, 1865).

Founded in 1742, in lieu of an earlier town, which, dating from the Argylls' first settlement here, stood in front of their pristine castle, Inveraray chiefly consists of a row of houses fronting the bay, and a main street striking thence at right angles. It is mostly well built, the houses neat and substantial; and has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, branches of the National and Union Banks, 9 insurance agencies, the Argyll Arms and 3 other hotels, a water supply (1836), gasworks (1841), a police station (1869), cattle markets on the last Friday in May and the last Thursday in October, and a wool market on the Friday after the second Thursday in July. The neat county court-house, of native porphyry, was adorned in 1874 with a bust by Sir John Steell of the late Lord Colonsay, a native of Argyllshire, and county member from 1843 to 1851. The prison was legalised in 1848, and, as altered and improved in 1871, has twenty-four cells. A sculptured stone cross, 8 feet high, with an almost illegible Latin inscription, is supposed to date from 1400 or thereby, and to have been brought from Iona. It was the town-cross of the older town, on the demolition of which it lay for a long time neglected, but now it stands at the foot of the principal street. Nearer the church is a small obelisk to the memory of seventeen Campbells who here were executed without trial for their share in Argyll's expedition (1685). The parish church, at the head of the principal street, is a long inelegant structure of 1794, with a spire rising from the centre of its roof. It was greatly injured by lightning in 1837, but repaired at considerable cost the following year; and it comprises two places of worship, English and Gaelic, with 450 and 470 sittings. There are also a Free church (1844; 480 sittings), a U.P. church (1836; 205), and a temporary Episcopalian chapel. A very rude pier was enlarged and improved in 1809, and again was extended in 1836 at a cost of £1200, a slip being formed to suit every state of the tide. Some trade is done in the exchange of Highland produce for general merchandise; and Inveraray is head of a fishery district between those of Campbeltown and Rothesay. In this district the number of boats in 1882 was 692, of fishermen 1640, of fish-curers 43, and of coopers 12, whilst the value of boats was £15,184, of nets £19, 572, and of lines £1400. The following is the number of barrels of herrings cured, and of cod, ling, and hake taken here in five different years- (1873) 10, 272½ and 900, (1874) 7135# and 1810, (1878) 13, 800 and 5340, (1879) 33,837 and 2605, (1881) 40, 079 and 720, in which last year ` the most special feature of the west coast fishing was the return of herrings to the lower reaches of Loch Fyne, where after an interval of many years' poor fishing, not only was the take large in itself, but the herrings proved exceptionally good both as regards size and quality. 'The town was made a burgh of barony in 1472, and a royal burgh in 1648. It is governed by a provost, 2 bailies, and 9 other councillors, who also serve as police commissioners under the General Police and Improvement Act (Scotland) of 1862; and it unites with Ayr, Oban, Campbeltown, and Irvine in sending a member to parliament. Assize courts are held twice a year; and courts of quarter sessions are held on the first Tuesday of March, May, and August, and on the last Tuesday of October. The parliamentary and the municipal constituency numbered 107 and 138 in 1883, when the annual value of real property amounted to £3242, whilst the corporation revenue was £524 in 1882. Pop. of royal burgh (1811) 1113, (1841) 1233, (1861) 1074, (1871) 981, (1881) 940, of whom 864 were in the parliamentary and police burgh. Houses (188l) 211 inhabited, 8 vacant.

Inveraray's history is that of the Earls and Dukes of Argyll, those zealous champions of civil and religious liberty. Their ancestor, Sir Colin Campbell of Lochow or Loch Awe, was knighted in 1280, and through his prowess bequeathed to the chiefs of his line the Gaelic title of Mac Cailean Mhor or Mac Callum More * (` great Colin's son'). Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow was raised to the peerage as Lord Campbell in 1445; Colin, his son, was created Earl of Argyll in 1457, and added to his possessions the district of Lorne- 'so important that we have on occasion found the Lord of Lorne spoken of as the Maor or chief ruler in these Celtic dominions. In the Lowlands the head of the house was successively earl, marquis, and duke. About such titles his Celtic subjects would neither know nor care to know. They might be casually spoken of among the tawdry foreign decorations conferred upon their chief. To them he was something infinitely greater and more illustrious as the son of Callum (sic) the Great, who had been the Charlemagne or King Arthur in their line of chiefs' (Hill Burton's Hist. Scotl., iii. 61, ed. 1876). The second Earl fell at Flodden (1513); the fourth, who died in 1558, was the first of the Scots nobility to embrace the principles of the Reformation. Archibald, eighth Earl (1598-1661), the leader of the Covenanters, was created a marquis in 1641, in 1651 crowned Charles II. at Scone, and by Charles was ten years later beheaded at Edinburgh. The Marquis he of Scott's Legend of Montrose, where 'Major Dugald Dalgetty' is sent on an embassy to the 'noble old Gothic castle of Inveraray, whose varied outline, embattled walls, towers, and outer and inner courts presented an aspect much more striking than the present massive and uniform mansion.'† Archibald, ninth Earl, for his descent upon Scotland in concert with Monmouth's English rebellion, was, like his father, executed at Edinburgh (1685); his son and successor, John, an active promoter of the Revolution, was in 1701 created Duke of Argyll, Marquis of Lorne, Baron Inveraray, etc. John, second Duke (1678-1743), famous in both ` the senate and the field,' is widely known through Scott's Heart of Midlothian; Archibald, third Duke (1682-1761), built the present castle; and at it John, fifth Duke (1723-1806), entertained Dr Samuel Johnson and Boswell on 25 Oct. 1773, when the 'Sage' was 'so entertaining that Lady Betty Hamilton after dinner went and placed her chair close to his, leaned upon the back of- it, and listened eagerly.' George-Douglas Campbell, present and eighth Duke (b. 1823; suc. 1847), has filled the office of Lord Privy Seal 1853-55, 1859-66, and 1880-81, of PostmasterGeneral 1855-58, and of Secretary for India 1868-74. He is author of the Reign of Law, Iona, The Afghan Question, Primeval Man, and other works; and he has twice had the honour of entertaining Her Majesty at Inveraray-for a few hours on 18 Aug. 1847, and again from 22 to 29 Sept. 1875. His son and heir, John Douglas-Sutherland Campbell, Marquis of Lorne (b. 1845), in 1871 married H. R.H. the Princess Louise, was Governor-General of the Dominion of Canada from 1878 to 1883, and has published A Trip to the Tropics, Guido and Lita, etc. The Duke holds 168,315 acres in Argyllshire and 6799 in Dumbartonshire, valued at £45,672 and £5171 per annum.

* The latter form is an utter blunder. Sir Walter Scott fell into the error, and, when corrected, replied that ` Mac Callum More ' was his nickname for Argyll.

† According to Dr Hill Burton, 'if we may believe a curious old print, the present unsightly pile, with its clumsy bulk and tawdry decorations, must have displaced a predecessor which, in the beautiful variety of turrets and decorated chimneys crowning the massive cluster of square and round towers built into each other at different ages below, probably excelled Glamis and the finest specimens of this peculiar architecture in the North' (Hist. Scotl., viii. 542, edn. 1876).

Inveraray Castle, 5 furlongs N by W of the town, and on the right bank of the winding Aray, ¼ mile above its mouth, ` stands on a lawn, retired from the sea-loch, and screened behind by woods that cover the sides of high hills to the top, and, still beyond, by bare mountains.' It was built by the third Duke in 1744-61, after designs by R. Morris, * at a cost, including the laying out of the grounds, of over £300,000. A massive, quadrangular, two-storied pile, with four round, pointed-roofed corner towers, a sunk floor, and a dormer-windowed attic story, it is in the Gothic of the 18th century, and consists of 'grey, sombre lapis ollaris or pot-stone, brought from the opposite shore of Loch Fyne. On 12 Oct. 1877, damage, estimated at £17,500, was caused by a fire of unknown origin, which gutted the central tower, and destroyed a fine organ, 200 flint-lock muskets used by the Argyllshire loyalists against the rebels at Culloden, rich tapestries, the well-worn colours of the Argyllshire Highlanders, portraits of the fifth Duke and Duchess, of the Great Montrose and his rival Argyll, etc. Fortunately, however, the most valuable paintings, furniture, and books were saved, the first including portraits of the great Marquis and the ninth Earl; and by 1880 the building itself was restored to more than its former magnificence. On the lawn in front of the castle stands the 'Battle Stone,' a large prehistoric monolith; and here is also the 'Gleld Gun' or 'Gunna Cam,' a brass cannon 10 feet long, recovered in 1740 from the wreck of one of the ships of the Spanish Armada which was blown up in Tobermory Bay. The park, nearly 30 miles in circumference, is nobly wooded, its plantations dating from 1674, 1746, 1771, 1805-8, and 1832-36, whilst during the last thirty-five years no fewer than 2,000,000 oaks, larches, Scotch firs, spruces, etc., have been planted by the present forester, Mr Stewart. There are three splendid avenues, one of limes and two of beeches; a limetree near Essachosan is called the 'Marriage Tree' from the curious union of its branches; and among the 'old and remarkable trees,' whose dimensions are given in Trans. Highl. and Ag. Soc. (1879-81), are five at Inveraray- a Spanish chestnut (height, 85 feet; girth, 241/6 at 1 foot from ground), a beech (95; 14¼ at 5), an oak (73; 201/6 at 1), a sycamore (80; 131/6 at 3), and a Scotch fir (110; 14½ at 5). The shootings and fishings are of great value; and it may be noticed that wild turkeys were introduced into the woods in 1882. See also Roseneath and pp. 125-133 of Dorothy Wordsworth's Tour in Scotland, 1803 (ed. by Princ. Shairp, 1874).

* The elder Adam is commonly named as its architect, but we follow an article in the Builder of 2 Oct. 1875.

The parish of Inveraray contains also the village of Furnace, so called from its being the site of the first Scotch iron smelting furnace; and comprises the ancient ecclesiastical districts of Kilmilieu and Glenaray, and once had churches at Kilmilieu, Glenaray, Achantiobairt, Kilbride, Kilblane, and Kilmun, with burial-grounds at most of these places, and also at Glenshira and Kilian. It is bounded N by Glenorchy-Innishail, E by Lochgoilhead-Kilmorich and Loch Fyne, SE by Loch Fyne, dividing it from Strachur and Stralachlan, SW by Kilmichael-Glassary, and W and NW by Kilchrenan-Dalavich. Its greatest length, from NE to SW, is 16¾ miles; its breadth varies between 23/8 and 6½ miles; and its area is 46,892 acres. All of it, except 139 acres forming the territory of the parliamentary burgh, and 880 acres belonging to parts of the royal burgh beyond the parliamentary boundaries, was formerly the parish of Glenaray, and was returned in the census of 1871-81 as a separate civil parish. The coast, extending 12½ miles along Loch Fyne-4¼ above and 8 below the town of Inveraray-projects Strone, Dalchenna, Kenmore, and Pennymore Points, and is indented by Loch Shira and several little bays; in the S it is high and rocky, but N of Douglas Water it is closely skirted by the road from Lochgoilhead or Arrochar to Inveraray and Lochgilphead. The streams all flow to Loch Fyne, and the chief are the Shira, winding 1v1 miles south-south-westward, and expanding, 5 furlongs above its mouth, into the Douloch (6 x 1½ furl.); the Aray, running 83/8 miles south-by-eastward; and Douglas Water, curving 6¾ miles eastward. Loch Leacann (7 x 3 furl.) lies on the boundary with Kilmichael-Glassary; and thirty smaller lakes are dotted over the south-western and western interior. Perennial springs occur in thousands; and several of them are slightly chalybeate. A lofty line of watershed forms the north-eastern boundary; a lower line of watershed forms all the western boundary; and mountains, hills, and glens occupy most of the interior. From SW to NE the principal heights are Dun Leacainn (1173 feet), Beinn Dearg (1575), *An Suidhe (1687), *Beinn Bhreae (1723), Sron Reithe (1171), Cruach Mhor (1982), Dun Corr-bhile (1055), Stuc Scardan (1598), *Beinn Chas (2214), *Beinn Ghlas (1803), and *Beinn Bhuidhe or Benbui (3106), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. ` Its general appearance is mountainous, presenting that diversity of form which is always the result of the meeting and mingling together of two different mountain rocks. Here a mountain of micaceous schist may be seen rising upward to the height of between 2000 and 3000 feet, a huge and isolated mass, or stretching along in uniform height and unbroken surface, its sloping sides clothed with heath and verdure; and there, collected around the base of their prouder and older brethren, ridges of porphyry are grouped, sometimes in masses of naked rock 700 or 800 feet high, and sometimes in low and gentle hillocks, mantled with trees or covered with soft succulent herbage. The result of the whole is an outline so diversified, so waving, and so beautiful as is sufficient to delight the eye, and to give noble and characteristic features to the scenery.' The rocks, besides the prevailing mica slate and porphyry, comprise granite, roofing slate, limestone, chlorite rock, and greenstone; and an important granite quarry, famed for its 'monster blasts,' has been noticed under Furnace. The soil of the arable lands along Loch Fyne is mostly a thin light loam on a gravelly bottom; of the best parts of the valleys, particularly of Glenshira, is a deep dark loam on a sandy or clayey subsoil; and elsewhere is mainly moss, mixed with a small proportion of detritus from the hills. Agricultural improvements, commenced about the middle of last century, have since been actively prosecuted; and sheep and cattle farming is largely carried on. Plantations now occupy some 3000 acres. Antiquities are noticed under Achantiobairt and Douloch. Rob Roy Macgregor (1665-1734) lodged some time in a house on Benbui farm; and here his son was born, who was hanged for the abduction of Jean Key from Balfron parish. Claudins Buchanan, D.D. (1766-1815), the Indian missionary, passed most of his boyhood at Inveraray. The Duke of Argyll is sole proprietor. The seat of a presbytery in the synod of Argyll, Inveraray in 1651 was constituted a double ecclesiastical charge- English and Gaelic, burgh and landward, or Kirkmilieu and Glenaray-the former worth £248, the latter £157. Bridge of Douglas public, Church Square public, Newtown public, Glenaray, and Creggan's female schools, with respective accommodation for 130, 154, 105, 48, and 43 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 11, 75, 74, 19, and 29, and grants of £22, 3s., £45, 17s. 7d., £16, 16s., £30, 4s., and £43, 18s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £7973, (1883) £.9108. Pop. (1801) 2051, (1841) 2285, (1861) 2095, (1871) 1794, (1881) 1706, of whom 873 were Gaelic-speaking, and of whom 299 were in Cumlodden quoad sacra parish, 461 in Glenaray, and in Inveraray.—Ord. Sur., shs. 37, 45, 1876.

The presbytery of Inveraray, meeting at Lochgilphead on the second last Tuesday of March and the last Tuesday of April, Sept., and Nov., comprises the old parishes of Craignish, Inveraray, Kilmartin, Kilmichael-Glassary, North Knapdale, and South Knapdale, the quoad sacra parishes of Ardrishaig, Cumlodden, Lochgilphead, and Tarbert, and the chapelry of Lochgair. Pop. (1871) 12, 367, (1881) 11, 328, of whom 1053 were communicants of the Church of Scotland.-There is also a Free church presbytery of Inveraray, with 2 churches at Lochgilphead and 6 at Ardrishaig, Inveraray, Kilmartin, Lochfyneside, North Knapdale, and Tarbert, which 8 churches together had 2087 members and adherents in 1883.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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